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We are frequently mentioned in international media, and invited to share our thoughts at well-regarded events across the globe. Our companies get extensive coverage.

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Quest Ventures: Southeast Asia’s Top Venture Capital Firm


Quest Ventures is a top venture capital firm that provides funding and acceleration to a myriad of startups, among the most notable of which are Carousell, Carro, and Shopback. Quest Ventures is also the first venture capital firm in Asia to roll out a multi-dimensional environment, social and governance strategy that supports a range of social good initiatives within the region. With this, join me in learning more about Quest Ventures with its Founder and Managing Partner, James Tan.

What are the most impactful achievements that Quest Ventures has accomplished?

There was a period that catapulted our firm – that was when I returned to Singapore from Beijing in 2017 to look at how we can capitalize new funds to tap into new opportunities. We discovered new promising sectors and moved into them quickly. Another achievement would be that we rolled out new partnerships so that we could scale the impact we were having. One project that we are very proud of is the Sustainable Impact Accelerator.

Where do you see Quest Ventures in the next 5-10 years?

We are always reinventing ourselves to ensure that we stay relevant. In the next 5-10 years, we will launch new funds to expand into rising sectors in Southeast Asia and beyond.


Under the Radar: The company behind startups’ first investment cheque – conversation with Quest Ventures on its “digital economy” strategy, helping MNCs drive corporate transformation, Opportunities in VC scene, Investment in smart electric motorbike ION Mobility

Money FM 89.3

Ever wondered which are the companies who give startups their first investment cheque? Well, our guest for today Quest Ventures is one such company.

The Venture Capital firm, which was founded in 2011, is a leading venture capital firm in areas such as artificial intelligence, e-commerce and marketplaces, entertainment, finance and even food. It’s also invested in a number of well-known companies such as, Carousell, Shopback and Hepmil.

But what exactly does the company look out for when it comes to investing? How does it assess the business environment it lies in, and what are some of its recent investments?

On Under the Radar, Drive Time’s finance presenter Chua Tian Tian sat down with James Tan, Managing Partner, Quest Ventures for more.


Singapore’s digital banks dangle incentives to win new customers — is it sustainable?


SINGAPORE — Digital retail banks in Singapore are pulling out all stops to win new customers.

Trust Bank and GXS Bank — two online retail banks launched last year — are offering lower fees, more incentives and waiving minimum account balances to win over customers from traditional banks.

Observers have previously raised questions about the need for digital banks in a largely banked population, where only 2% do not have bank accounts.

There’s also strong competition among the more established traditional banks.

“If you look at DBS Bank, it’s not like their digital offerings are [lousy],” said James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, a VC company headquartered in Singapore.

Tan said he signed up for Trust Bank to see how different it will be to traditional banks. “I found no difference,” he told CNBC, adding that he eventually closed his Trust Bank account.

“I think the digital banks would have a higher rate of success if we were in a severely underbanked place like the Philippines,” said Tan.


‘The worst is over’: Tech investors are bullish on investing in China again


“If there’s any caution, it will be because of the potential of new Covid strains and not potential government crackdown or regulatory constraints because that was already happening before Covid,” said James Tan, managing partner at Singapore-based Quest Ventures.

Quest Ventures’ Tan said what happened in China highlights the importance of diversification.

For example, iPhone maker Apple is diversifying its supply chain out of China, following Covid lockdowns and worker protests at its Zhengzhou plant which delayed production.

“With the doors now open, smart investors realize that they cannot put all of their eggs in one basket,” said Tan.

“I think we will see a lot more investments in key new areas strategic to China such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and semiconductors, because the investments that need to go into the semiconductor industry is necessarily huge,” said Tan.


Indian two-wheeler maker TVS joins US$18.7M Series A round of ION Mobility


Singapore-based smart electric motorbike company ION Mobility has secured US$18.7 million in its Series A round of financing from investors, including India’s leading two-wheeler maker TVS Motors.

Other investors are AC Ventures Malaysia, Michael Sampoerna, and ION’s CMO Ng Ho Sen. Existing investors TNB Aura, Quest Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Village Global, GDP Venture, and Seeds Capital also joined.

The plan is to convert the 200-plus million motorcycle users from petrol to electric to drive a sustainable future in Southeast Asia.

In October 2021, ION completed its US$6.8 million seed financing, co-led by Quest Ventures and TNB Aura.


SG-based ION Mobility secures strategic investment from India’s TVS Motor


ION Mobility, a Singapore-based EV startup that produces smart electric bikes and energy storage solutions, has secured a strategic investment from the Indian automobile major TVS Motor.

The strategic investment is part of ION Mobility’s $18.7-million Series A funding round. AC Ventures Malaysia, Michael Sampoerna, and ION Mobility chief manufacturing officer Ng Ho Sen, with existing investors TNB Aura, Quest Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Village Global, GDP Venture and Seeds Capital have participated in the round.

The new funding round brings the total capital raised by the company to over $25.5 million since 2020.


Balancing revenue, impact remains the top challenges faced by social impact startups


The theme of social impact is taking over the centre stage in the Southeast Asian (SEA) tech startup ecosystem this year, with social enterprises being in the spotlight, but challenges remain for companies that are working in the sector.

Quest Ventures shares its insights on the biggest challenges faced by startups in the social impact sector.

“Startups will face the challenge of balancing impact creation and business growth, aligning expectations of stakeholders and business partners, and getting their investors to better understand how impact can translate into enterprise value,” says James Tan, Managing Partner at Quest Ventures.

“With sustainability coming into focus in these few years, the challenge may be slowly mitigating, but investors should put teeth in their commitment to sustainability and impact by actually investing in and supporting the growth of impact-driven startups … Together with our local and international partners in the startup investment ecosystems and social sectors, we are able to support the startups in expanding beyond the local market and pulling together resources to replicate and scale.”

Alfie Othman, CEO of Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, raiSE, explains the challenges that social impact companies are facing: “According to a study on The State of Social Enterprise in Singapore that raiSE conducted in partnership with the British Council in 2021, the top three challenges faced by social enterprises are customer acquisition and market development, access to financial support, and building internal capabilities.”

“We continue to partner with Quest Ventures to provide promising, socially impactful startups with the support they need to improve their competencies and access regional and global markets for the second cohort of the accelerator this year. The Sustainable Impact Accelerator’s first cohort has proven successful – with companies pitching to over 2,000 investors, corporates, and government organisations within the programme’s first three months. We are always heartened to see participants benefit from the programme, whether it be scaling their business, growing their impact, or gaining footholds in new markets,” says Othman.


Vistra helps Asia-focused venture capital firm Quest Ventures take advantage of the Singapore VCC


Quest Ventures wanted to use the Singapore Variable Capital Company (VCC) structure to get their investor-led funds to market at speed. Vistra supported Quest Ventures with a full suite of end-to-end fund setup and administration solutions, allowing them to focus on their core business.

“We had an ambitious target of launching multiple funds with different strategies across the Asia-Pacific region. From the outset, the Vistra team was responsive and flexible and fast became our trusted partner. Critically, they provide us with a full range of solutions that mean we can focus on our core business of looking for investment opportunities”, says James Tan, Founder and Managing Partner, Quest Ventures.


Startup Wire | Three Feet High and Rising


Quest Ventures is calling for startups focused on making a sustainable impact to apply for the second cohort of their Sustainable Impact Accelerator (SIA) in partnership with raiSE. James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, said, “Socially impactful enterprises can also scale like high-growth startups, unlocking capital and resources to impact more people regionally and globally. Building upon the success of the first cohort, we look forward to partnering with raiSE again to propel high-potential impact businesses forward in their journey.”


raiSE and Quest Ventures launches second cohort of the Sustainable Impact Accelerator

The Edge

This accelerator, organised by the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, raiSE and Quest Ventures, a venture capital firm in Asia, aims to support budding impactful startups by providing financial and non-financial support to help them improve their competencies and gain access to regional and global markets.

Since launching in 2022, companies from the first cohort of the Sustainable Impact Accelerator have collectively pitched to over 2,000 investors, corporates, government organisations, and other stakeholders across Asia within the first three months of the programme. Some companies have also successfully raised their next funding round within a few months and gained a foothold in overseas markets such as Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

James Tan, Managing Partner of Quest Ventures, said, “Socially impactful enterprises can also scale like high-growth startups, unlocking capital and resources to impact more people regionally and globally. Building upon the success of the first cohort, we look forward to partnering with raiSE again to propel high-potential impact businesses forward in their journey.”


‘Ugly’ food gaining acceptance in Singapore but more education needed, businesses say

Channel NewsAsia

Treatsure’s Mr Wong said that investors’ understanding of the potential of food waste companies still appears to trail behind in Asia compared with the West.

“It does seem that they’re trailing behind in … that understanding of the potential impact if a company could scale similarly in terms of what our peers in Europe have done.”

He pointed to other tech platforms aimed at reducing food waste in Europe and North America, such as Copenhagen-based Too Good to Go and London-based Olio.

“It’s still quite a niche and selective group that we’re talking about,” Mr Wong said of Asia’s investors in food waste companies.

But he also pointed out that there were “encouraging signs”. Last year, venture capital firm Quest Ventures came on board as an investor with Treatsure.

“There are investors who are looking at this opportunity, because food waste is quite a significant opportunity. It’s just (a matter of) the model in which the business operates,” he said.


2023  |  2022  |  2021  |  2020  |  2019  |  2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011

For press enquiries, please contact [email protected].

Brand assets available here.